Manifa project starts first phase of production

Updated 16 April 2013

Manifa project starts first phase of production

Saudi Aramco said the first phase production start-up at the Manifa field commenced recently, 3 months ahead of schedule and well under the program’s approved budget.
The Manifa field’s production capacity is expected to reach 500,000 bpd by July 2013, and is planned to reach its full design capacity of 900,000 bpd of Arabian Heavy crude oil by the end of 2014, while Saudi Aramco’s maximum sustained capacity will be maintained at the level preceding Manifa production.
Last October, Ali Al-Naimi, minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Saudi Aramco’s chairman of the board of directors, led the board members on a review tour of the Manifa field production facilities and inaugurated reservoir water injection along the perimeter of the Manifa field.
The Manifa project is unique in many ways with its innovative engineering design to develop the field’s optimum production capacity, while caring for the environment and optimizing its budget.
The Manifa field includes dry-land rigs linked by a total of 41 kilometers of causeways with a number of elevated bridges designed to maintain natural water flow in the Manifa Bay and preserving natural marine nurseries.
Including a 420-MW heat and electricity plant, the project employed best in class technologies in infrastructure, drilling and production activities consuming more than 80 million man hours without a lost time injury, one of the best safety records in the industry, which qualified the project to receive the “Innovative Oil Project of the Year” award.
Speaking to Saudi Aramco’s leadership and employees, president and chief executive officer, Khalid A. Al-Falih, congratulated the Manifa Project team on their multiple successes by bringing Manifa on stream three months ahead of schedule in line with operational excellence, safety and environmental stewardship and reaching high level of Saudization in operations, mainly attributable to Saudi Aramco’s investments in human resources, operations and infrastructure developments.
“The Manifa story will be a very bright and shining example in our corporate history,” he said.
“It really opens a new page in terms of overcoming various hurdles and complexities most notably through human and technological innovation,” said the CEO.
It is a testimony to the company’s values, particularly citizenship, by caring for the environment, Saudization and relying on national vendors to the maximum extent.”
Al-Falih also praised training programs offered by the company to its employees on the latest techniques in the design, construction, and operation of mega and advanced oil projects.


American Airlines threatens to cancel some Boeing 737 MAX orders

Updated 31 min 53 sec ago

American Airlines threatens to cancel some Boeing 737 MAX orders

  • American’s stand comes as airlines are finding financing increasingly difficult and expensive
  • Airlines have canceled orders for more than 400 MAX planes so far this year

DALLAS: American Airlines is warning Boeing that it could cancel some overdue orders for the grounded 737 MAX unless the plane maker helps line up new financing for the jets, according to people familiar with the discussions.
American’s stand comes as airlines are finding financing increasingly difficult and expensive as the coronavirus pandemic has crippled their operations.
American had 24 MAX jets before they were grounded in March 2019. It has orders for 76 more but wants Boeing to help arrange financing for 17 planes for which previous financing has or will soon expire, according to three people who spoke Friday on condition of anonymity to discuss private talks between the companies.
If the companies can’t reach an agreement, American could use MAX financing that is about to expire to pay for jets from Boeing’s archrival Airbus, one of the people said.
Chicago-based Boeing said in a statement that it is working with customers during “an unprecedented time for our industry as airlines confront a steep drop in traffic,” but did not comment on the talks with American. The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline declined to comment.
News of American’s threat to cancel some orders was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The situation underscores the strain facing airlines during the coronavirus pandemic. It has grown more difficult and expensive for them to finance planes. American’s negotiating stance doesn’t reflect a loss of confidence in the plane’s safety, the sources said.
The MAX was Boeing’s best-selling plane before crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people and led regulators around the world to ground all MAX jets.
The coronavirus pandemic has compounded Boeing’s problems by causing a sharp drop in air travel and a loss of interest in new planes. Nearly 40 percent of the world’s passenger jets are idled, according to aviation data supplier Cirium, as most airlines have more planes than they need until travel recovers.
That has made it more difficult to finance planes. United Airlines and Southwest Airlines found foreign lenders who agreed in April and May to buy MAX jets and lease them to the airlines, but those carriers are in stronger financial situations than American.
The 17 planes in dispute were supposed to have been delivered to American at least a year ago. That has given the airline the option of canceling the order without penalty and recovering its down payments now, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. The deliveries have been delayed while Boeing works to fix a flight-control system suspected of playing a role in the crashes.
Airlines have canceled orders for more than 400 MAX planes so far this year, and 320 are no longer certain enough to count in Boeing’s backlog. Some were dropped because the airline buyer ran into financial problems, while others were swapped for different Boeing planes. The company had taken 4,619 orders through May.
Air travel in the US fell about 95 percent from the beginning of March until mid-April. Traffic has recovered slightly since then, but remains down more than 70 percent from a year ago. With little revenue coming in, airlines are slashing spending and preparing to furlough thousands of workers this fall.
American has accepted $5.8 billion in federal aid to pay workers through Sept. 30, reached tentative agreement on a $4.75 billion federal loan, and lined up billions more in available cash from private lenders to survive the travel downturn.